He hailed the STEP program as a revolutionary idea that would be relatively easy to implement because it depends on programs already in existence.
Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., chair of the Senate Education, Arts and Humanities Subcommittee, noted that the reports findings document the tragedy of the 1980s ... when federal support for financing higher education failed to keep pace with costs ... and the gap between rich and poor expanded, even as scientific and technological progress advanced.
Rep. William D. Ford, D-Mich., chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, called the report impressive, noting that the bipartisan commission is supporting and reinforcing the directions in federal student financial assistance that Ive been calling for.
Rep. Thomas E. Petri, R-Wisc., applauded the multi-billion dollar savings to be gained through the reports direct loan proposal.
Its one thing to spend more money to solve a problem, he commented. We do that a lot around here. But its a rare thing to actually find a better way to do things that ends up saving the taxpayer money.
This report provides hope for someone who gets a [college] acceptance letter, gets all excited, and then realizes that they arent able to enroll because they cant afford it, commented Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., a member of the House Postsecondary Education Subcommittee and a leading proponent of direct lending.
In response to comments about the cost of the panels recommendations, Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., said, the question is not whether we have the resources but whether we are going to make [higher education] a priority.